Well, long-story-short, I wrote Crash Course In Jazz Rhythm Guitar because it didn’t exist and the world needs it. Get students ready to read charts, play correct voicings and in the correct style, all in a fun, directed, and quick manner.
I have been playing jazz guitar since high school. I went to music school, got an B.Mus in Jazz Studies. Gigged around, taught for a decade. Went back to school, got a M.Music in Jazz Studies. Gigged more, taught a lot more, starting doing studio session work, wrote tunes, toured, gave concerts.
Most of my students are not jazz guitarists, but many have been. I’ve taught privately and at institutions of higher learning. I’ve taught middle school kids to play it and college kids, too. It’s not much different really. All of my students have won their auditions, often beating out older kids. It’s not a competition, except it is. 🙂
Why did they win the audition? Because they play what the band director wants to hear from them. I’ve been through the system, I still work within it, and I know what is needed for them to succeed right away. I know what the band needs/wants from them, and that’s what we get down first. It’s that simple.
On a larger note, I think jazz is often taught wrong, and I aim to tackle that, too. Especially to guitarists. So, it is my hope that I can use my 30 years of studying, playing, and teaching to get more kids playing jazz and having success, and therefore, fun. Kids or adults.
Jazz can be hard or it can be simple. Or it can be lots of simples layered upon each other. Make it simple, that’s what both Joe Pass and Yusef Lateef told me, and I’ve taken it to heart.
Thanks for stopping by!